Now is time to demand voting accuracy

Dennis Kucinich today made official what has likely nagged at people since the fascinating leapfrog of Clinton over Obama in the New Hampshire primary. He has requested a formal recount.

The Ashland Daily Tidings joins Mr. Kucinich in his request. We ask that concerned citizens, newspaper editorial writers and members of Congress do the same.

This is the perfect time and place for a recount.

Kucinich said he doesn't believe the results will change significantly. His only goal is to assure voters that 100 percent of the votes were counted accurately. How can any elected official not stridently and passionately agree?

The authenticity and accuracy of the voting system is essential to upholding a basic right of U.S. citizens. Problems in Florida in 2000, problems in Ohio in 2004, and the lack of Congressional resolve to pass legislation regarding paper ballots and ensuring election integrity have all chipped away at this fundamental issue. It is indeed telling that just a day or so before the New Hampshire primary, two election workers from Ohio were sent to jail.

Ensuring the accuracy of the New Hampshire primary will increase the confidence of voters in the process right now, as the race for the Oval Office is beginning.

This is a small sample of votes, and time between primaries, tight that it may be, is available.

The surprising results demand that we ensure the surprise is indeed authentic.

Polling data taken just hours before the ballots were counted showed a huge lead for Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton. CNN reported that the Clinton campaign was concerned about overwhelming turnout in the precincts with colleges. College students turned out in force in Iowa to help Obama win and most predicted the same in New Hampshire. Before the ballots were counted, several political analysts wondered aloud if the South Carolina primary would simply be a coronation for Obama. Clinton's own campaign, it was reported, prepared to completely revamp itself and chart a new course in a strategy of desperation.

If Clinton's controversial upset of Obama was in any way tainted by problems, the entire presidential election could be lost in legal challenges and electoral anarchy.

Huge money donors, particularly those determined to see America's involvement in Iraq continue, had a lot to lose in New Hampshire. Obama and his call to withdraw the troops created such momentum he stood a real chance of tying up the nomination early.

As we've seen from both 2000 and 2004, an election can be won or lost with a small amount of votes in a key place.

New Hampshire has always played a prominent role in determining the primary winners. And this year, it was mission critical for any hope Clinton could stem the tide that Iowa generated for Obama.

The motive is there. The shocking results are there. Reckless conspiracy theories have already begun, while voter confidence continues on a decline that grows worse with each election. But a quick, open and accurate recount of New Hampshire will either turn the spotlight of inquiry into addressing problems now, should they exist, or validate the significant victory for Clinton and restore confidence in the accuracy of elections, as we would hope and expect.

We refuse to let the absolutely critical issue of election integrity be pushed aside. Nothing is more important to American values. No effort to protect it is asking too much.

Share This Story